Learner Success

PSMP Inspires Harvard Study Opportunity

Simon Li at Harvard in Boston

Learning in the Public Sector Management Program (PSMP) can spark curiosity and motivation to continue study.

Simon Li was a recent participant in a Melbourne cohort of PSMP, achieving a High Distinction in all units. Simon found the concepts of public policy and delivery of public value stimulating, and was motivated to further his knowledge. He was recently accepted into the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mid-Career Master in Public Administration, Class of 2023, and has made the journey to Boston to begin study.

Simon was also awarded a John F. Kennedy Fellowship for demonstrating exceptional academic ability and professional distinction. The fellowship provides tuition assistance for $20,000 USD.

Simon’s own story of coming to Australia formed his professional goal to contribute to public policy that helps future generations overcome disadvantage. He noted how it was policies that provided government support that allowed his family to start a new life.

“I have been working towards this north star and have been responsible for different stages of the policy pipeline. For example, influencing and developing strategic policy within the political context, effective legal and legislative design to enact the policy intent, and administering the policy to ensure the objectives and desired impact is felt by people. I have broadened my perspective that the sustainability and long-term effectiveness of policy on the local level is dependent on the cohesiveness and accountability across whole of government portfolios at the state, national and international level. For example, the direct impact tax policy can have on social and health policy which is itself influenced by foreign trade and national security policy.”

Simon hopes his experience at Harvard Kennedy will give him the toolbox to add public value as he transitions to a strategic leadership position to influence and expand cross-policy collaboration and government capability to meet future challenges more effectively.

Simon was appreciative of the support of the PSMP team in helping him reach this goal.

“I wanted to thank the PSMP team for all the support, advice and time in both helping me develop personally and providing this great opportunity to attend Harvard. I know that without their inspiration and support, I would not have considered applying for this course and wouldn’t have been able to get this outcome.”

This story was originally published in The Mandarin

QUT PSMP Program


Dr Kate Joyner is the Interim Director, Corporate Programs and Learning Innovation in the Graduate School of Business, QUT. Kate provides academic leadership for the Public Sector Management Program and delivers executive education in the areas of leadership, systems thinking and strategy. Kate’s speciality is developing leaders and leadership groups for the challenges of the 21st century.

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